Raising Kids Makes You a Testing and Optimization Expert

Okay, that sounds totally geeky. But hear me out.

Anyone who has kids knows that the moment you think you have a child figured out, you get a quick dose of reality (and humility) when everything changes.

But one of the many lessons I’ve learned in my brief time as a father is that nothing stays the same for very long.  Whether it’s what food he likes (or rather decides) to eat, the best way to transfer him from the car to his bed, or the best way to keep him calm on the changing table.  My wife and I, just like other parents, are in a non-stop game of figuring out what to do, and sometimes do differently.  Every.  Single. Day.

You can say it’s cheesy or nerdy, but I’m telling you being a father has made me a better marketer.  You may think that adult consumers don’t change as often as do babies, but I would argue pretty strongly against that point.  In this new world of social media, constant interruption, and mass stimulation, adults change their thoughts and their minds much more rapidly than they might have previously.  And if you think you’re immune, I’d guess that sometime over the past few months, you bought something you hadn’t really even thought you’d needed when it all of a sudden appeared on Groupon or in your inbox.

We talk about how the world is changing faster than it ever has before.  And we experience it ourselves all the time.  But then why do we approach our customers, and more importantly our potential customers, differently?

How different does your website look than 3 months ago? Okay, fine, you tested your landing page.  But when was the last time you tested your Thank You page? Or your order or shipping confirmation emails? Every consumer touch point makes a difference.

Sure, it takes a ton of work.  And it feels like you have to be on everything all the time.  That’s because you do.  Obviously, you can’t do everything, so you need to make sure you’re prioritizing higher value and higher leverage components of your business.  But if you and your organization don’t have a philosophy of constant testing and tweaking, you’re at best “just” leaving money on the table.  And at worst, you’re going to be left behind as the competition, new and old, adjusts to the changing marketplace better and faster than you do.

I can’t say whether managing your business is more or less gratifying than raising a child – or frankly whether you want children – that’s a personal choice.  But whether you like it or not, a child changes all the time.  You have no choice as a parent to adjust.

And I’d posit that if you want your business to thrive, you have to bring the same philosophy of figuring out what to do differently and better in all components of your business.  Every day.

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Caith Chapman
GM, eCommerce & Consumer Products, Tastemade

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